Is ‘Pokemon GO’ Dangerous To Drivers And Pedestrians? New Evidence Seems To Suggest So

Pokemon Go live in Taiwan

Pokemon GO continues to ramp up in popularity, but it doesn’t appear to come without some problems.

Pokemon GO released in July to users all over the world. Since then, it’s become one of the most downloaded games to hit mobile devices. Whether you want to collect all of the Pokemon available or battle gyms for glory, there’s a goal for everyone to hit. The cost of achieving this goal, however, has become quite steep for some users.

With a GPS-based system, Pokemon Go is driven by travel and being aware when a Pokemon pops up on the screen. Players will need to tap on the virtual monster, throw Pokeballs at it, and hope that it doesn’t break free and run away. This requires concentration on the user’s part. With cars and pedestrians all over, how safe is Pokemon GO to users who may not be paying much attention to anything but the rare chance at catching an elusive target?

According to a report by CNN, studies are showing that Pokemon Go can be quite dangerous and distracting. There’s been quite a bit of controversy in regards to what users are experiencing. Some users have slipped and fallen, while others have suffered fatal injuries or become entangled in trespassing. There are even establishments who want to opt out of Pokemon GO, fearing that business is going to suffer due to potential loitering issues.

The suspicion that Pokemon GO is distracting comes from a string of social media information that has been gathered. Users are telling their stories about what activities have been done to capture Pokemon, and these events range from stopping a car in the middle of the road to individuals nearly getting hit by cars. Around 4,000 tweets were gathered between the dates of July 10 to July 20. The consistency of posts is quite staggering, suggesting that users have gone so far as to tweet their actions during these times.

“My mom just legit stopped the car in the middle of the road to catch a Pokemon…” one users tweets.

“Almost got hit by a car playing Pokemon GO,” says another.

It was previously reported by The Inquisitr that users can also purchase Pokemon GO bracelets. These devices seem to lend a bit of ease to the overall game. Players can use them to activate Pokestops, areas specifically designed to provide trainers with Pokeballs and other goodies. Additionally, the bracelet tells a trainer when a Pokemon is nearby and within range to be caught. The downsides? No new Pokemon can be caught. Furthermore, one can’t partake in gym battles. While the bracelet alleviates some of the necessity of constantly paying attention to one’s mobile device, it doesn’t completely eliminate the distracting nature of the GPS-based game.

According to NPR, multiple reports on social media show videos of drivers getting into accidents because of Pokemon GO. John Ayers, scientist at San Diego State University, is one of the analysts who has been gathering information on these incidents.

“This is a new distraction amplified for many, many reasons,” Ayers states. “In the case of augmented reality games, the goal is to interact with your environment.”

Perhaps Niantic will take note of the danger of Pokemon GO and update the app accordingly. They’ve already patched in systems to take these measures, but there appears to be no overall change in the danger of Pokemon GO and the pursuit of rare Pokemon.

How do you feel about Pokemon GO? Do you feel that the game is a bigger distraction than it needs to be? Let us know your thoughts int he comment section below.

[Featured Image by Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images]